Sen. Kyl Forecasts Dem Floor Strategy

Amanda Carpenter

5/12/2008 2:36:03 PM - Amanda Carpenter

Republican Whip Sen. Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.) predicted Democrats would soon pass an expensive war spending bill knowing President Bush would veto in order to help their election prospects in November.

By doing this, Democrats “get the political benefit of a presidential veto and then say we would love to spend all the money, but the president wouldn’t let us,” Kyl said on a conference call Monday afternoon.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up a supplemental war spending bill Thursday. Democrats are making a push to include $11 billion extra in unemployment benefits and $1 billion more for education funding for war veterans.

“Extension of unemployment compensation has nothing to do with defense spending, it’s something the Democrats want to put on just about every bill they can,” Kyl said. After the president vetoes the bill Kyl expects a “clean” one will be passed later and sent for to the president’s desk for his approval.

Kyl predicted the Democrats may pursue a similar strategy of introducing unacceptable bill for cap-and-trade legislation, although there is not enough time on the calendar to debate such a broad-reaching law. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I.-Conn.) and Sen. John Warner (R.-Va.) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a cap-and-trade system, is likely to come to the floor in June.

Kyl said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) would use the truncated timetable against Republicans. Kyl said Reid could quickly file for cloture and then “blame them [Republicans] for filibustering the bill.”

“I have a very hard time believing at the end of the day it would pass,” Kyl said.